Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Community Content: Bathophobia

This month I have the special privilege of presenting material submitted by a guest creator.

Luis Otero has been an active member of the Star City Community for several years now. I've had the pleasure of sitting on both sides of the screen with Lou and he's always pushed the adventure towards a more interesting and dynamic conclusion.

A fan of Horror, and Sci-Fi, Lou submitted Bathophobia where players must confront a fear that is both familiar and alien. If you're a fan of the Drowned War then you will find Bathophobia not only compatible but complementary.

by Luis Otero

"It is the tail end of the 21st century. The ocean is king. Human exploration is performed by creatures less than human and yet more than man.
Under the ocean, away from open air, humanity is no longer the apex predator."

A transhumanist horror setting for Savage Worlds taking place in an environment that is, for all intents and purposes as alien to us as the expanse of outer space: Earth's own ocean

Player Character Role:
Players in this setting will take on the metallic form of CONILs: transhuman explorers created by removing the human brain from the body of a would-be explorer and encasing it in a sturdy suit of powered robotic armor. As a result of this and the chemical bath the brain is suspended in (a support solution called AMBROSIA), the suit's human 'pilot' is transformed into a virtually new organism: one that is virtually oxygen-independent,  needs little to no nutrition and is immune to disease, chemical agents, and under the right circumstances, even the ravages of time. Such subjects become Cybernetic Organic Neurological Integrated Lifeforms (CONILs). CONILs are utilized for exploring locations deemed too dangerous for frail humans. In this settings' case, the players are CONILs onboard the research submersible PROTEUS on a voyage down the Marianas Trench. As CONILs are not permitted to carry weaponry (due to the Sao Paulo Tragedy of 2095) players are encouraged to build researchers and mariners, not cyber-soldiers and robo-samurai.

Player Race: CONILs
-add +2 to recover from being Shaken.
-don’t suffer wound modifiers.
-are immune to poison and disease.
-only need to 'sleep' (referred to as your Neurochem Administration Period or N.A.P) for 10 minutes every 48 hours.
-your heavy metal 'flesh' is far more resilient than that of your previousbody and as such you have +2 natural armor.
 -your new body's processors combined your brain's newfound independence from typical human concerns has made your thoughts clearer and more organized. You start with a d6 in Smarts.

The Horror:
Inevitably disaster strikes. Awakening from their N.A.P, the players discover that their submarine is badly damaged, flooding, and most of its internal systems are offline. Worst of all, there are signs that something entered the vessel through a breach in its hull. Something capable of burrowing through an armored security door.

Making matters worse, 95% of the sub's supply of AMBROSIA was lost in the disaster, meaning that the players only have a limited supply of their life-sustaining substance (48 hours worth total, but can split amongst players) until they can reach safe harbor. Compounding the issue is the fact that AMBROSIA must be administered while the players are powered down, asleep and very helpless for 10 minutes.

Every hour the players are awake past the 48 hour limit without AMBROSIA drains 1 point of Sanity and once players are at zero, they should begin experiencing frightening hallucinations and attacks by phantasmal creatures produced by their weary minds. While the injuries caused by such entities is purely psychosomatic, it is real enough to them to trigger damage responses to the suit itself (ie: real wounds).

Beset by a disaster of unknown origin, hunted by an invader of unknown origin, surrounded by dark water and paranoia, your players will have to ask themselves a valuable question:

Are you still human enough to value your own survival?